Students from Leilehua High School are headed to Baltimore in April as finalists in the national championship round of CyberPatriot IX—The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. This is the third trip to the national finals for Leilehua's JROTC as they captured consecutive Army Service Championships in 2012 and 2013.
"The CyberPatriot competition engaged our students in real cybersecurity threats, showing real-world applications of science, technology, engineering and math lessons," said Leilehua High Principal Jason Nakamoto. "I applaud the hard work of our students, coach, and mentors in qualifying for the highly competitive national championship round."
Led by Coach LTC (Ret.) Nick Spiridigliozzi, and Mentors 1LT Ben Allision, CW3 Lee Unrein, and Specialist Evan Wittman, the Leilehua's Army JROTC Mighty Mules team is one of 13 finalists for the competition's All Service Division. Team members are Cadet Brandon Unrein, Cadet Tyler McWilliams, Cadet Jarod Olive-Stalling, Cadet Jacob Huerta, and Cadet team support person Lejah Amantiad. The team also won their third consecutive Hawaii State CyberPatriot Championship.
This year's three-track competition included public, private, and home schools registered in the Open Division, while JROTC units and Naval Sea Cadet Corps and Civil Air Patrol squadrons filled the All Service Division. In all, more than 4,400 teams registered to participate, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in both Europe and the Pacific, and other teams abroad.
The All Service Division began with more than 1,500 teams registered, which has been narrowed to 13 final teams. Each team will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition at the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore from April 2-6 where teams will compete face to face and defend virtual networks from a professional aggressor team. Competitors will participate in several timed events to showcase their myriad cybersecurity skills in the attempts to win the coveted National Champion award and scholarships.
Since 2009, CyberPatriot's National Youth Cyber Defense Competition has challenged teams of two to six students to harden simulated computer systems and resolve real-life cybersecurity situations faced by industry professionals. The competition provides students hands-on experience securing computer networks while exciting, educating, and motivating them toward careers in cybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
For more information about CyberPatriot, click here.